“It’s a lifestyle”: Vanessa Goodson wins The Apprentice Aotearoa and walks away with $ 50,000


Vanessa Goodson won the Aotearoa Apprentice. Photo / Supplied

After 12 grueling episodes where contestants competed for $ 50,000, Vanessa Goodson was named the winner of The Apprentice Aoteroa.

Goodson impressed panelists with his business plan for his DIY balloon garland product, receiving praise for his charisma during his “boujee lifestyle” pitch.

The 30-year-old walks away with a $ 50,000 investment in her OMGNESS-style events and balloon business. Goodson successfully presented his idea to a panel of business experts.

She beat 13 other contestants for the top prize, including content creator Stephen McDowell in the final episode.

Stephen and Vanessa faced off in the last episode.  Photo / TVNZ
Stephen and Vanessa faced off in the last episode. Photo / TVNZ

The top two candidates were tasked with working with the screened candidates to find the perfect pitch, banner, and ad for their product.

In the episode, she explained what she was going to do with the $ 50,000 investment. After a shaky start, she quickly conquered the room with her enthusiasm and humor.

She impressed the panel with a solid business plan and projected profits, and answered questions about the product. Goodson said the IDIY balloon garland has a straightforward installation process and they are also biodegradable.

“It’s a lifestyle,” Goodson said, summing up his point and explaining why his idea should win. And his confidence resonated with the panel.

“You owned the room,” mentor Cassie Roma said, praising Goodson’s “palpable energy”.

Goodson wowed the judges with his business plan for the OMGNESS balls.  Photo / TVNZ
Goodson wowed the judges with his business plan for the OMGNESS balls. Photo / TVNZ

Tomlinson said he admired her for his work, and Pero agreed that Goodson’s proposal stood out.

“You bring something that I have never seen before in a boardroom and contagious charisma,” he said.

McDowell’s business and product pitch was instant coffee with health benefits, but he failed to convince Pero and the panelists that his product would appeal to the high-end market he had in mind.

Apprentice Aotearoa CEO Mike Pero, along with advisors Cassie Roma and Justin Tomlinson, congratulated Vanessa Goodson on her presentation of the company.  Photo / TVNZ
Apprentice Aotearoa CEO Mike Pero, along with advisors Cassie Roma and Justin Tomlinson, congratulated Vanessa Goodson on her presentation of the company. Photo / TVNZ

Four in five panelists supported her and believed her idea was more commercially viable than McDowell’s.

Goodson was moved to tears when Pero confirmed she was the winner. In addition to the $ 50,000 investment, she will benefit from ongoing mentoring for the next 12 months.

• The Apprentice Aotearoa broadcast on TVNZ 1 and available for streaming on TVNZ OnDemand.


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